Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Box 4 Fitness training cancelled today

Please note that this morning's Boxercise class at 10.15am and this evening's scheduled session at 6.15pm are both cancelled. I am not fully recovered and cannot get anyone to cover my classes. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ho Ho Ho Holiday closing

you can buy these ornaments from
Closing for the holidays 18 Dec
Box 4 Fitness will be closing on Fri 18 Dec 2015 and will re-open for Bootcamp on Monday 04 Jan 2016.

Diary notes for December
Last Bootcamp - Mon 14 Dec
Last Circuit Class - Tue 15 Dec
Special Christmas Craziness from Rhea - Wed 16 Dec
Last Boxercise class with Kate followed by coffee at The Blue Teapot - Fri 18 Dec

Boxing Awards
Level 2 Standard Award - double session Tue 08 Dec
Level 2 Assessment - Tue 15 Dec

Level 3 Bronze Award starts Wed 06 Jan '16 (Booking only)

Level 1 beginner's course starts Tue 12 Jan '16 (Booking only)

All email received after 18 Dec '15 will be reviewed first week of Jan '16. Please text kate 077 3243 3243 for urgent response.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Five Hours of Fitness Fundraiser success

The dust has settled after our Five Hours of Fitness Fundraiser and we'd like to thank everyone who came along and supported us on the day. We raised a fantastic one thousand pounds, exceeding what we'd hoped for and it was a success in every way from start to Fonda finish.

Thank you
More than 50 people came through our doors, we ran back to back sessions from 9 till 2, trained hard and laughed hard, and gave out 26 great raffle prizes.

The Daughters smashed it!
There was stiff competition during the Mothers vs Daughters Boxercise taster which featured a series of challenges with the Daughters emerging victorious.

Rumour has it, the Mothers' day will come. They are seeking redemption so look out for that in March 2016.

Boxing for women and girls
Hebden Bridge Boxing Club's female boxers, Hatty Nylan and Mia Kelly ran a great session with support from regulars Saba and Alex. We hope it inspired more of you to come to our regular Sat 11am training session.

Rhea Carsmith's kick boxercise bash was big and went down well as did Bootcamp and Partner Circuits.

Most fun had with Fonda
We put on leotards and leg warmers, painted peacock eyes and got our Fonda moves on with freestyling from Rhea, Kate Radford and Hurricane Hatty.

In true style everyone jumped in, did their thing and we had a great time. We gave out plenty of energy to the big screen and got down with the godmother of aerobics.

This was the highlight of the fundraiser for me, it was great to join in with everyone who'd been working all day in the gym and just have a good laugh. Great for the soul to laugh with your sisters!

We've done it
Our success means we can secure plans for the rest of this season for our female boxers.

We'll have female representation at the Elite Championships in Liverpool, in April 2016 and hope to be at the Haringey Box Cup next year too.

The generosity of our regulars and their friends, the amount and quality of goods donated and the time put in by everyone to make the event a success is genuinely appreciated. This opens many doors for our girls and will help to drive them to be the very best that they can be. We couldn't have done it without you so thank you again!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

3 days till our 5hrs of Fitness Fundraiser...

We're just 3 days away from our fundraiser and we're putting the finishing touches to session plans, hampers, Jane Fonda madness and getting ready to welcome you all to the the gym.

Still spaces available for taster sessions
There are still plenty of opportunities to join in with the taster sessions, apart from the Boxercise Mothers v Daughters session at 10.30am which is fully booked.

You're welcome to turn up anytime between 9.00am and 1.30pm and join any session that has space. If you want a guaranteed spot, on any particular taster, text or call kate on 077 3243 3243 or email

Why are we fundraising?
We're working hard to develop our female boxers and get them competing this season. This requires a lot of travel, many hours on the road to ensure our girls get sparring with opponents of equal age, weight and experience.
We often have to travel out of the region to do this and the costs associated can't always be covered by club funds.
You can read more about why we're doing this here.

Come and join us 
If you've never been to a boxing gym and  wondered what all the hype is about - come see us. We welcome people of all abilities, ages and fitness levels. We are inclusive and offer a supportive, safe environment in which to get fit, meet people from the local community and train like a boxer, or train to be a boxer.

We welcome the opportunity to show you what we do and would appreciate your support.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fundraiser update...our taster sessions are filling up fast!

Get booked on today
Plans for our Five Hours of Fitness Fundraiser are coming along nicely and with the event little over a week away, places are filling up fast on some of the taster sessions. Get booked in if there's something you particularly want to try out or you can turn up on the day and try your luck.

Kids Recreational Boxing - 9.00am - plenty of spaces 
Kicking off at 9am, we're doing our regular Saturday morning kids class with a few older helpers in the session to assist with first timers and make sure everyone has a go at hitting the focus pads. If you have a 5-10 year old daughter or son who'd like to get the gloves on, bring them along. It's a non-contact session so they will only punch focus pads or bags. Minimum donation £5 for 45mins

KO Circuit - 10.00am - half-full
This popular Saturday morning session usually runs for 45 minutes from 10am. The taster session is half an hour and as of today, is just over half-full with 8 places remaining. Min £3 donation

Boxercise: Mothers v Daughters - 10.30am - 6 spaces left
Although we run regular Boxercise sessions at the gym, this Mothers v Daughters session is a one-off event for the fundraiser. You do not have to be related to join in, just partner up with a surrogate Mother or Daughter! Min £3 donation

Boxing for women and girls - 11.00am - half full
Some of our more experienced boxers will lead this session with plenty of coaching for first timers. There will be a  sparring display from carded boxers and plenty of tips from Hatty the Hurricane who has 21 bouts under her belt and boxed for England in a tri-nations championship earlier this year. Come and hear it straight from the boxers mouth! Min £3 donation

Partner Circuit - 11.30am - plenty of spaces
Our regular Tuesday night Circuits sessions are popular and this taster is a great introduction as you will have a partner (who knows the score) leading you round the circuit. Min £3 donation

BOOTCAMP - 12.00 - 8 spaces left
Fast and furious session! For anyone that likes Bootcamp style classes that are energetic and fast paced. Guaranteed to make you sweat. Min donation £3

Boxercise - 12.30pm - plenty of spaces
This taster will be a back-to-basics session, teaching all 8 punches and combinations. Perfect for beginners but you'll still get a good workout if you've done it before. Min donation £3

Kick-Boxercise - 1.00pm - plenty of spaces
We currently run a girls-only (11-15yrs) class every Wed at 4.30pm but if we get enough interest, we'll consider putting this on as a regular class for women too. Punching and kicking focus pads and bags and some good self-defence tips during the half hour taster. Min donation £3

Jane Fonda Workout - 1.45pm - 7 spaces
Just for fun! (we don't do Jane Fonda classes at the gym normally) Drag your 80's leotard out for this one or stick your swimming costume on over your leggings and get your headband out! Prize for the best Jane Fonda effort (leotards are not compulsory) Min donation £3

Book now to guarantee a spot
If you want to book a place on any of our taster sessions, call or text Kate 077 3243 3243 or email

You can always just turn up and try your luck on the day and you are also welcome to watch and eat cake and browse our clothes rail if you don't want to take part.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday 28 November at Hebden Bridge Boxing Club directions here and look out for the Box 4 Fitness signs on the road leading to the gym.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

5 Hours of Fitness Fundraiser - Sat 28 Nov

Come see us!

On Sat 28 Nov, we're opening up the gym doors to members, their friends and women and children from the local community. We're asking for your support in our efforts to raise funds for our female boxers development programme.

What's in it for you?
We're holding half hour taster sessions for each of the Box 4 Fitness classes held weekly at the gym, plus a few thrown in just for fun. It's an opportunity to come and see the gym, try out a class and meet some of our coaches and boxers as well as the women who train with us.

Why try boxing?
  • it's different to anything you've ever done before, you may just like it.
  • if you do like it, you will then love it and it will have you looking forward to getting back to the gym so you can HIT THAT BAG! You'll forget you're exercising and start to think of it as therapy
  • it's stress busting and satisfying and sweaty and not very glamorous and we like it that way - you might to.
What's the cost?
We're asking for a minimum £3 donation for a half hour taster session. Regular classes are normally £5 and last 45 minutes to an hour.

Raffle girl will try and sell you a Raffle ticket so you can win one of our generous prizes donated by local businesses and members of the gym. There will be some great food hampers, vouchers for the gym and online/local business vouchers too.

Refreshments and home-made, sugar free cake and healthy snacks will be on sale and a rail of women's clothing which is on offer by donation.

What's the programme?
Here is the line up of sessions for the day. All classes apart from the Kids Recreational Boxing are women only. To be guaranteed a place you must book and turn up at least ten mins before the start of the session. Otherwise, try your luck on the day, there will be spaces in at least some of the sessions!

09.00 - 9.45   Kids Recreational Boxing (5-10 years)
10.00 K O Circuit 
10.30 Boxercise (Mothers vs Daughters)
11.00 Boxing for women and girls 11yrs +
11.30 Partner Circuit (circuit in pairs)
12.00 Bootcamp
12.30 Boxercise
13.00 Kick Boxercise (11yrs+ and women)

13.30 ***Raffle Draw***
13.45 Jane Fonda Workout 

How to book
If you have a friend at the gym, get her to put your name on the list. If not, email or text 077 3243 3243 with your name and the session you want to book. All donations will be received on the day - no payments upfront.

We hope you'll come and support our fundraiser and try out a bit of boxing, have some cake or just hang out and see what goes on. We look forward to welcoming you.

Friday, October 9, 2015

No Kids Boxing Sat 10 October

Due to outside work commitments, we do not have any Coaches available for the 9am Kids session tomorrow. Apologies for the inconvenience and hope to see you all next week as usual.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Beginner's Course for Women and Girls

Last chance Tuesday

This is the last of our beginners courses for the year so if you've thought about getting involved with boxing or boxing fitness, now's the time!

The course runs over 8 weeks, every Tuesday at 7.30pm starting on September 15th 2015.

What's involved?

You will learn the basics of boxing, how to move around the ring, throw punches at a target and defend against punches. You do not have to have to be fit to attend this course, nor do you have to have any previous experience. It's suitable for people who are looking to get into the sport of amateur boxing as well as those who want to learn the basics so they can attend fitness classes at a boxing club.

Women and girls only

It's an all-female course, run by a female Coach, registered with England Boxing. Open to girls from 11 years old.


Boxing is a great form of exercise for anyone battling depression, anxiety or confidence issues. It's hard to beat when it comes to stress busting and can be very empowering for women and girls.
  • increase fitness
  • learn a new skill
  • exercise with like minded people
  • improve your confidence and self esteem
  • train in an exclusively female, supportive atmosphere

Booking only

Course fee is £60 (£30 deposit) for 8 weeks including medal and certificate. We will loan you gloves if you do not have your own.

Text Kate 077 3243 3243 or email

August Bank Holiday training

Tomorrow morning the Kids Recreational Boxing session will run as usual at 9am with Cass and KO Circuits at 10am with Kate. No Women's Boxing training at 11am.

Bootcamp is on at 6.15pm on Bank Holiday Monday.

Have a safe weekend everyone, see you back in the gym.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

CommuniTEA and boxing this Saturday

This Saturday we're down at the Town Hall showcasing Box 4 Fitness and offering taster sessions and free passes to anyone who visits us there.
Find out about memberships, classes and training options and meet some of the women from the gym.

Hope to see you there!

Sat 18 July - No training

Please note that there will not be any KO Circuits or Women's Training on Saturday 18 July as 2 of our oldest members are getting married so we're taking some time out to enjoy the wedding.

Business as usual otherwise - please keep checking the blog and the timetable page for changes over the summer.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Timetable changes in June.

We've got a busy month coming up and I'll be handing you over to Rhea Carsmith as from Friday morning, who'll look after you whilst I'm away until Monday 22 June.

The last weekend in June sees a big group of us from the gym doing the Total Warrior challenge in Leeds so we need to keep the training up and get the miles in on the road guys. Try and get to at least 2 training sessions a week till race day and watch out on the facebook page for people organising runs over the weekends and evenings.
All classes will run as normal apart from the following:
Saturday 13 June, no KO Circuits and no Women's Boxing Training at 11am
Tuesday 16 June, no Boxing Awards for Women at 7.30pm

Saturday 27 June, no K O Circuits and no Women's Boxing Training - This is TOTAL WARRIOR DAY!

Please contact Rhea Carsmith with any queries 07876 557379 while I'm away.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Bootcamp - Bank Holiday Monday

Bootcamp is on as usual tonight at 6.15pm so come and get some training in!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bank Holiday Bootcamp Mon 4 May

It's business as usual tomorrow morning at 9am with the Kids session, followed by a leg beasting KO Circuit at 10am.

Women's Boxing Training is on at 11am with drills, skills and sparring. Open to anyone who has done a Level 1 Boxing Award Course.

Bootcamp Monday is on with Rhea Carsmith and rumour has it, there's a core-war going on. Get some training in after your long weekend and start the week off feeling good.

See you in the gym!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Next beginner's boxing course starts Tues May 12th

Our next Level 1, Preliminary Boxing Award course starts on Tues May 12 for 8 weeks.

You do not need to be fit to do this course
This course is open to absolute beginners and anyone who currently comes to fitness classes and would like to improve their punching or footwork. It's a glove-contact course so no hitting or getting hit, we use punch bags and focus pads as targets.

It's a coach style course, so although you will get your heart rate up and certainly get a sweat on, the focus is on technique and developing skill.

More course content and information in this previous post.

What to wear/bring
Wear comfortable sports clothing that does not need adjusting - vest or t-shirt and jogging pants or tracksuit bottoms. A sports bra is recommended and clean, indoor trainers only - no out door running shoes to be worn in the gym.

Bring a bottle of water, gloves if you have them and a sweatshirt to warm up and cool down in.

Cost: £60 for 8 weeks incl medal and certificate
Venue: Hebden bridge Boxing Club, Mytholmroyd
Start date: Tues 12 May 7.30-8.30pm
Booking: Kate 077 3243 3243

Friday, April 17, 2015

Successul fundraiser for Chynah thanks to you

Thanks to everyone who donated, came along to Bootcamp and annihilated their knees and elbows to raise funds for Chynah's trip to the World Karate Championships in Japan, in August.

In just an hour, we raised over £250 and with other kind people that have handed over money, today I donated a total of £265 to Chynah's go fund me account.

We had a hard graft training session, packed to the rafters with 34 people but it ran as smooth as silk. Thank you all for making that happen, your support has been fantastic.

We look forward to hearing about Chynah's success when she gets back in August, I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kickboxercise for girls - Starts next Wed 15 April

We had a successful Kickboxercise taster session just before the holidays so will be starting regular classes for girls as from next Wednesday, 15 April.

What is Kickboxercise?
Based on martial arts, this is a non-contact form of exercise that teaches punches, kicks, elbow strikes, knee strikes and combinations of them all with relevant defences.

What do we hit?

We don't just punch and kick the air in these training sessions, we use strike shields, punch bags and focus pads to safely and effectively teach and practice technique at full power and speed.

What are the benefits for girls?
We've heard of and experienced many ways in which this training can help girls, including:
  • Increased confidence and self esteem through learning and developing a new skill.
  • Enhanced body awareness and physical capability, together with improved body image. We encourage strength and ability over looks and shape.
  • Improved confidence at school, on the street and amongst friends; developed through an ability to better protect and defend themselves.
  • Decreased anger and self control issues through the practice and training.
  • An enhanced circle of friends from other schools and communities.
Cost of classes
Blocks of 8 or 12 sessions can be bought at discounted rates:
£30 for 8 sessions, £40 for 12 sessions or £5 per class for drop in.

Options to progress
There will be 3 or 4 assessments held per year where girls can work towards achieving their Level 1, 2 and 3 Box 4 Fitness Award.

They will receive a certificate, medal and pair of coloured handwraps when they pass their assessment. Each level gives them a certain amount of responsibility in the gym and during training sessions. We work with the girls to enhance their leadership and confidence through this programme.

Who's teaching it?
Rhea Carsmith, qualified and registered Kickboxercise Instructor, DBS checked and insured. Under guidance of Head Instructor Kate Dakers, England Boxing Coach and Child Welfare and Safety Officer for Hebden Bridge Boxing Club.

Where: Classes are held at Hebden Bridge Boxing Club directions here
When: Wednedays 4.30-5.30pm from 15 April.
Contact: Rhea Carsmith 07876 557 379 or email
What to wear/bring: please read this

Bootcamp for Chynah - Mon 13th April

Bruce Lee Bootcamp for Chynah
Next Monday we're running an extra special Bootcamp to raise funds for my niece Chynah, who's been selected to represent England at the World Karate Championships in Japan, August 2015.
Bring home a medal for England Chynah!
This is such a fantastic achievement and opportunity, however in order to go, she needs to raise around £1500. As Karate is yet to become an Olympic sport, there is no funding available for the team so the individuals have to pay the cost of flights and accommodation themselves.

We'd like to help by donating the proceeds of this Bootcamp to Chynah's fund and wish her all the best from the sisterhood 'Up North'.

Booking Only
The cost of the class will remain at £5 and we'll accept donations on the night if you'd like to contribute any more. There will be a strict 30 people max in this session but I will be happy to get 20 confirmed places. Please let me know via text, email, facebook or by talking to me at the gym if you want to join us for this Bootcamp.

Members please note: I will be asking for £5 cash for this class even if you are a paid up monthly member or hold an 8 session card.

Thanks for your support so far and kind donations already made by some of you. If you'd like to make a donation directly to Chynah's fund, visit her go fund me page.

See you at BRUCE LEE BOOTCAMP next week!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Opening Hours

We'll be closing for a few days over the Easter weekend for some much needed rest and recuperation so classes will not be running on Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th or Monday 6th April.

There will be a Boxercise session on Thursday 2nd April at 9.30am and the normal timetable resumes as from Tuesday 7th April.

See you back in the gym for Circuits at 6.15pm next Tuesday. Happy Easter and safe travels to those of you who are heading out for the weekend.

Monday, March 16, 2015

New Class - Kickboxercise for girls

After the success of the self defence workshops we ran last half term and  the feedback we got from the girls, we're starting a weekly Kickboxercise session just for 11-15 year olds.

Come and try it out for free
Wed 25 March 4.30pm we're running a taster session - open to all girls aged 11-15 years.

The hour long session will take them through a warm-up, a few basics and give them a taste of hitting bags and kicking focus pads.

Regular classes start after the holidays
After the initial taster session, we'll break for Easter Holidays and start regular classes on Wednesday 15 April at 4.30pm

Cost of classes
Blocks of 8 or 12 sessions can be bought at discounted rates (£30 for 8, £40 for 12) or £5 per class.
The initial taster session on Wed 25 March is free.

What to wear/bring
Girls should be dressed in comfortable clothing that does not need adjusting once the gloves are on - a vest or t-shirt, shorts or tracksuit bottoms and CLEAN INDOOR FOOTWEAR (due to the nature of the training it is important that footwear is clean and for indoor use only), trainers or flat plimsolls - no high-tops.

A warm sweatshirt or tracksuit top to warm up and cool down in and a bottle of water. We do not encourage anyone to drink anything but water in the gym so no fizzy pop, cordial or energy drinks please.

Venue: Hebden Bridge Boxing Club, Ribstone St, Mytholmroyd see contact page for directions
Contact: Rhea Carsmith 07876 557 379

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Beginner's Course for Women - 4 places left

We have 4 places left on the next Level 1, Beginner's Boxing Course for Women which starts next Tuesday, 17 March for 8 weeks.

Find out more about the course here

If you'd like a place on the course, or have any questions, please contact Kate 077 3243 3243.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Kids Boxing cancelled Sat 7 Mar

Please note that the Kids Boxing session is cancelled this Saturday due to both Coaches being away with work commitments and no cover available.

We'll be back to normal next Sat 14th at 9am.

Green Smoothie freezer packs

Never have time for breakfast?
If you hit the floor running every day or find it difficult to eat solids early doors, here's something that could change your mornings and stop that 11 o'clock attack on the biscuit barrel.

Once a week, I make up smoothie packs for the freezer which means I always have a stand-by breakfast if I fail on the boiled eggs or porridge front. Mine contain nuts, seeds, fruit, greens and oats so I consider them a meal, the addition of chia seeds thickens the smoothie and keeps me fuller longer.

Here's what I put into each pack:

1 cup fruit (I mostly eat berries as they are lower in sugar than other fruit but you can use anything you have in the fridge or fruit bowl. If I use banana's or other sweet fruit I put slightly less - eg. half a banana)
1/4 cup oats
1 tbsp nuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 handfuls of greens (spinach, kale or other greens)

Put everything into ziplock bags, greens go in last, squeeze any air out of the bag and seal. Put them into the freezer where they will last at least a month.

To make the smoothie
, place in a blender with 1 1/2 - 2 cups of liquid depending on how thick you like it- I use almond or hazelnut milk and blend for 3 minutes or until it's smooth (rinse out and reuse the ziplock bags).

I try and rotate the greens and fruits so that I don't have the same every day - using a mixture of spinach, kale and collard greens when they are available and raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and forest fruits is my ideal. I keep a stash of berries in the freezer (buy them when they are in the reduced section, wash and freeze) and always peel and freeze bananas if they are heading for over-ripeness before they'll get eaten.

The addition of oats, seeds and nut milk balances the meal and keeps your blood sugar stable as opposed to just-fruit smoothies.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Communications are down...

If you need to get in touch with us at the gym, please email or use the facebook group page.

Our mobile number is going to be out of service for around 48hrs.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Venue and Directions for Tuesday's Self Defence Workshop

To avoid any confusion amongst those who've not been to the gym before, the Self Defence training sessions  are held at Hebden Bridge Boxing Club, Mt Pleasant Mills, top of Ribstone St, Mytholmroyd, HX7 5LR.

Directions: Turn off Burnley Rd, onto Midgley Rd, first left, signposted 'Leading to Zion Terrace', immediately right and stay right - drive to the top of Ribstone St and enter via the car park (it has a wooden fence). We are located in the mill behind the first one you see.

Please note: The Pecket Well address on the Consent Form is the Correspondence address for Box 4 Fitness.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Boxercise cancelled this morning

Apologies everyone but I am unable to find cover for the class this morning and I'm not well. Back to normal as soon as possible!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Self Defence and Safety for Girls - programme and details

Workshop programme:

10.00am - Arrival, registration (hand in consent forms) and welcome
  • Awareness and preventative measures on public transport, social media and dealing with bullies
  • Grounding, using the voice, escalation of attack and appropriate responses
  • Defensive striking with hands, knees, elbows and feet
12.30 - 1.15pm - Lunch (discussion and feedback)
  • Escaping from hand grabs, choke holds, bear hugs and hair grabs
  • Putting it all together
3.00pm - Closing and pick up

What to wear / bring:
Girls should be dressed in tracksuit bottoms, shorts or leggings, a vest or t-shirt and bring something warm to wear between physical activities. Clean, indoor trainers or plimsoles - please ensure they are clean. There will be some topics that require bare feet or socks.

No jewellery that can catch on clothing or be ripped out (eg, necklaces, rings, bracelets or dangly earrings) and no heavy make up. Long hair must be tied up or plaited.

Packed lunch required
Bring a bottle of water to drink throughout the day and a packed lunch. We discourage sweets, energy drinks or fizzy pop in the gym. Drinking water is available at the gym.

Signed consent form
Parents/Guardians please contact if you haven't received an email with a copy of the consent form for signing.

Please note: We will not allow any of the girls to leave the gym before 3pm unless by prior arrangement with a parent or guardian.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Boxercise, Friday 30 Jan

As of 10pm Thursday evening, weather wise things are looking good for this training session to go ahead as usual at 9.30am.

Please bring clean, dry trainers or boots to the gym with you.

Self Defence and Safety for Girls (Feb half term)

On Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th February, Box 4 Fitness will be hosting a Self Defence and Safety for Girls workshop.

Just for girls
Aimed at 11-15 year olds, these 5 hour workshops will cover personal safety issues on the street, at school and on public transport. We'll talk about recognising and reducing the risk of personal attack, how to deal with an escalating attack and how to escape from an attacker.

Practical not pretty
The girls will learn, practical, hands-on techniques, working with a partner, in an all-female, secure environment. You can find endless videos online that teach fancy looking self defence but many of the moves are far too complicated to learn and remember when you are under attack.

We teach simple, instinctive techniques and ways to remember them.

Topics will include:
  • The power of your words and voice
  • Using your elbows and knees as defencive weapons
  • How to escape from choke holds, head locks and bear hugs
  • Kicking and striking effectively with your hands and feet
  • Stopping an attack before it starts
Using punch bags and strike shields to practice the techniques at full speed, will allow the girls to explore their strength and how to apply it.

The benefits for girls
Self defence training can:
  • prepare girls both mentally and physically for a risky or dangerous situation
  • increase self confidence (confident girls are less vulnerable)
  • enhance personal safety
  • increase social interaction with like minded girls 
Limited to 20 places on each day, this workshop is booking only, call or text Kate Dakers 077 3243 3243 or email

Venue: Hebden Bridge Boxing Club, see directions.
Date: Mon 16th Feb and Tues 17th Feb 2015
Time: 10am till 3pm (packed lunch required)
Cost: £15 (payable upon booking)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wedneday Warrior training - on tonight 28 Jan

So far so good weather wise as of 3pm today, so training will be on as usual at 6.15pm.

This training is open to women only, £5 drop in and it's a non-boxing session. Tonight we'll be strength training and working on agility and balance.

See you there.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Boxercise session is on Fri 23 Jan

Boxercise sessions: Mon 10.30am (Over 50's), Wed 10.15am and Fri 9.30am
Boxercise for Women is on tomorrow morning at 9.30am as usual. We've had some disruption to the gym timetable recently with all the snow and bad weather but it's looking good for the morning.

We're taking part in the Boxercise January Challenge and will be recording our times tomorrow. Punchers run 10m, throw 10 punches on the pads x 5 times, change pads and gloves and repeat. The clock stops ticking when the last person finishes so it's a team effort.

See you in the gym.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No Wednesday Warriors training 21 Jan

The continuing snow has meant I've had to cancel this evening's training. It's pretty dangerous up on the tops where many of us live and just isn't worth the risk of driving to the gym today.

All being well, we're back on it friday morning at 9.30am for Boxercise so come and join us then if you can.

This girl can

It's not often a media campaign makes me smile, in fact I spend a lot of time ranting about the media and marketing industry and it's portrayal of women in exercise and sport.

Enter 'This girl can'
Far from the insipid, flaky looking girls we see in low-fat food ads and the glamorous, photoshopped goddesses of perfume, comes Sport England's girls in their new 'This girl can' campaign. Images of women working hard at their game, sweating, pulling faces...human stuff. Real women, not fitness models or professional athletes, not super-cut, tanned, immaculate looking barbie dolls but women and girls with average bodies, wobbly bits and red faces. They're climbing, boxing, running, playing netball and football and doing zumba.

2 million more men play sport than women
This £10 million lottery-funded, national campaign, developed by Sport England seeks to address the persistent gender gap which means that more men play sport than women at every age.

Recent research suggests this figure is so high due to most women, citing fear of judgement as the reason they keep out of sport and physical activity.

Is it any wonder, considering mainstream conversations around women playing sport or other physical activity are almost always focused solely on the results in outward appearance? How many calories can you burn in a boxing training session? Do you get better looking legs playing football or running? Will you lose more weight swimming or playing netball? Which activity will get you a six pack and a bubble butt the fastest?

Try 'exercise for women'
At this moment in time, the top result is a Shape magazine article entitled 'The 10 best exercises for women'. It features a girl with beach blonde perfect hair, in a small bikini with a well defined set of abs (and a bit of boobage which must have been missed when they did the airbrushing on the image right)?

Here's the caption for the image...
Every woman is familiar with those tricky trouble zones that take a little extra work to tighten and tone. After a lot of exercise trial and error, I’ve finally found a solid set of moves that help me shape up and feel confident in a swimsuit, my favorite skinny jeans, or a sexy cockatil
(sic) dress .
Using the search term 'women in sport' on google proves more successful and the results are more relevant. Switch to look at images for this same search and it starts off hopeful, scroll down and we have.....more boobs, more butt and more pseudo-sexiness.

Women's Sport on YouTube
Let's hop over to you tube and see what searching for 'women's sport' brings..

1. Brazilian women's hot football game
2. Female fitness motivation (with a half mooning butt right up in your grill as the video still)
3. A comedy clip featuring Jimmy Carr's speech on 'Why there's no place for women's sport on tv'
4. Women's sports injury compilation
5. Sportswomen- does the media ignore Women's Sport? (Yay!) swiftly followed by..
6. Top 10 revealing moment's in women's high jump (more butt)

So do more heterosexual men use you tube than women? I have no idea. I've tried various search terms on numerous other sites and they all yield similar results. I don't read tabloids or magazines so I can't comment on this.

So what?
Yes the injury compilations are funny and the Brazilian Football team are pretty hot, I know the images of 'perfect' women featured in online articles are also considered aspirational by most, but collectively, they are damaging. They do not empower us, they do not make us feel inspired and they do not encourage us into the gym or onto the field.

This girl can, but will she DO?

So will these ads really help more women to become active? Will seeing these images makes us feel better about ourselves and encourage us to go out and join a team? I'm unsure but hopeful.

If I'd been in charge of the creative direction of the campaign, I wouldn't have opened with the back view of a woman in a bikini, why focus on the butt when we're trying to get out of buttsville? Yes, it's a normal sized, average butt, but here we are again, back in the flesh. I'd have de-sexualised a few headlines 'Damn right I look hot' and we'd have seen a few more boxers (but that's just me). It's still a strong, positive campaign in my mind and I like where it's going.

It will start to populate search engine results and encourage conversations and that's a great start. We may see some change in the way journalists and advertising copywriters portray women and with a bit of luck, make them realise that manipulating our emotions, placing guilt and appearance at the centre of it all is outdated, sexist and harmful.

I want to hear more about women playing sport together because we love the game.  I want to see them exercising and enjoying themselves, covered in sweat and not caring what they look like. Doing it for sheer pleasure and investment in their mental and physical wellbeing - not so they fit into a narrow view of beauty.

Let's embrace this campaign for all its positive points and share it with as many of our friends as possible. Check out the website or join the facebook group and get back out there and exercise!

Boxercise cancelled today - Wed 21 Jan

Due to the bad weather, this mornings Boxercise class is cancelled. Please watch the blog for updates about tonight's session.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wednesday Warriors...are you in?

Within a week of setting up the 2015 Valley Warriors team for Total Warrior Leeds, we are fully booked!

21 weeks till the event
We're taking a team of 16 to compete in the 12km obstacle event this year and training has already begun. We did the first of our fitness tests last night and have a packed winter training schedule to improve our strength and agility before we take it outdoors for running, sprints and obstacles when the weather improves.

Want to join in?
If you'd like to enter the event, you can still do so by registering as an individual register now or by setting up another team. The best place to start is to come to the gym on a Wednesday evening, talk to others and explore your options.

Not a warrior?
If you fancy the training but not the event, you are welcome to join the sessions. They are £5 and you can drop in, no booking required. Please check the website or facebook page for venues once we take the training outdoors. Note that these are strength and conditioning sessions, not boxing.

Wednesday Warrior training is held at Hebden Bridge Boxing Club, every Wednesday at 6.15pm.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year, New You?

I thought I'd kick of the year by talking about particular the ''I'm going to go to the gym every day and I'm going to eat only lettuce and drink wheatgrass shots instead of tequila and I'm never buying another take-away again. EVER''! type of resolution.

As someone who works in the health and fitness industry, I hear and see these sorts of promises made and broken all the time but especially at the start of a new year. If you read magazines, newspapers or watch television, the media will try and shame you into making them, even if you don't get there by yourself. Every big fitness centre or chain-gym will display stock shot images of naff looking, skinny women with watery smiles holding 3kg dumbbells, waving new membership offers under your nose that you can't refuse. As a result, treadmills and studio classes everywhere will be bursting at the seams in January. For about 3 weeks. Then it's business as usual.

So, year after year people set themselves up for failure by making unrealistic resolutions, not meeting them and then hating themselves for being so crap. Every day becomes a battle of wills between your good side and that devil on your shoulder. It's an unhealthy, way to live I believe. So what instead?

1. Resolve to be the best possible version of YOURSELF this year.
Forget pinning pictures of fitness models on your fridge, you are NEVER going to look like that girl. She is not you. She does not have your bone structure, skin tone or muscle profile. If visual inspiration is what drives you, take a picture of yourself each week/month and compare yourself only to yourself. Set your own goals and start reviewing them week by week - if you are currently a couch potato, aim to train, say, twice a week for the first month and then increase it after that. If you can't get through that Bootcamp class at first, aim for a certain number of rest periods and then aim to reduce them. Focus on what you can do and don't compare yourself to others in the gym.

2. Live by the 7 P's. Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance! Never was a truer word spoken when it comes to food and exercise. Plan your meals, pack your gym bag the night before, arrange to meet or pick up a training buddy on your way to the gym, book the babysitter, schedule your training sessions in your diary - do whatever you can do to overcome the obstacles that will prevent you from reaching your goal.

3. Stop making excuses to yourself and others about why you aren't doing it. Be honest with yourself. We're all guilty of playing the 'too busy' card and so often we give in to work, family or social pressures way too easily. We all have the same 24 hours - what we do with them is up to us. Get to the core of why you aren't fulfilling your resolution. maybe the call to exercise is not being heard because you're trying to engage with something that is not right for you. Try boxing (my personal favourite)? Swimming? Roller Derby? Weight lifting? Or a bit of everything. Keep trying until you find the activity that makes you want to go back for more.

4. Get back on it quickly
All the top performers I've ever met have one thing in common - they get back on track quickly. Missing a training session, sleeping in late or pigging out does not make you a bad person, it makes you human. Don't give up on your goals because you've made a few mistakes, just get back on it as quickly as possible and move on. Don't start again next Monday or next month - start again NOW.

5. Consistency is key
We are creatures of habit and we can give up a bad one by creating a new one. So grit your teeth and get the first month out of the way, the more times you make healthy choices, the easier it will become. Take things a step at a time and don't stop thinking about where you would be (or wouldn't be) if you hadn't started this journey at all. If you were aiming for 10 press ups but can only do 5, that's 5 more than none. Surely that's better than giving up because you didn't achieve 10?

In the words of Bruce Lee ''A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim for''.